Scandal star Kerry Washington was a versatile, poised, and funny host, taking on roles from Oprah to a confused Ugandan beauty pageant contestant to a Spelman College political science professor. In the cold open, SNL directly addressed the recent controversy surrounding its lack of a permanent female cast member. Musical guest Emimen performed "Berzerk" (with Rick Rubin as DJ) and "Survival" with Skylar Grey.

Some highlights...

Cold open—Kerry Washington as Michelle Obama... and Oprah Winfrey... and Beyoncé... ("The producers of SNL would like to apologize for the number of black women Kerry Washington will be asked to play tonight... We made these requests because SNL does not currently have a black woman in the cast...") Also featuring a cameo by the Reverend Al Sharpton.


 

"What Does My Girl Say?"—cheating boyfriend (Jay Pharoah) and his outraged girlfriend (Kerry Washington) parody the viral European dance video "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)"


 

Black voters Kenan Thompson, Jay Pharoah, and Kerry Washington weigh in on the Obama presidency and other matters. ("White people have an expectation that everything will work perfectly right away. Have you ever seen a white person at a hotel when they're told the room isn't ready yet?...")

 

Charles Barkley (Kenan Thompson) and a crosseyed, befuddled Shaquille O'Neal (Jay Pharoah) drop by Weekend Update to discuss the new NBA season.


 

"Ice Cream"—an offhand joke at the ice cream parlor messes with people's minds.


 

Also: Angela Merkel (Kate McKinnon) is mortified by the dark personal truths about her unveiled by NSA surveillance; Yemen-born career consultant "Heshi" (Nasim Pedrad) inspires students with her personal success story and dramatic soundtrack ("I've officially been approved for an OKCupid account!..."); Booker T. Washington High School's beleaguered Principal Frye (Jay Pharoah) is back, attempting to keep his students under control at Fall Carnival.

NEXT, on November 16: Lady Gaga as host and musical guest.